Physics is a very interesting subject. Physics has both theories and practical explanations. It is always said that maths is the tool used for physics. All the theories of physics are proven using mathematics.
Based on the theories, a mathematical equation is formed. These equations are used as fundamental tools to solve the problems, and to get values. The values that are obtained from solving the problems are used for practical purposes, in real life. Also academically, problem-solving shares a big part in the theory questions. Hence it is very important to understand how to solve a physics problem.
The physics problems are tedious to solve, and usually, they scare the beginners. But they are not that difficult once you understand, the basics of solving physics problems.
All of the problems that we come across are based on certain conditions which are mentioned in the question of problems itself. We need to understand the conditions and then we need to recollect the equations and variables used to solve the problem.
In this article, I am going to help to understand how to figure out the conditions mentioned in the problem and how to find the equations needed to solve them.
What are Physics Numericals & Problems
When we study physics in our academics, we do come across numerical problems often. These problems are so created that they test our logic and understanding of physics. Some numerical are straight application problems, this means that the numerical contains the direct values of the variables in the equation and you just need to substitute the values, respectively. These kinds of problems mostly test our knowledge of equations and algebra. While some are logical problems, such problems test our understanding. To solve this problem we have to implement the theory. Sometimes we have to even modify the equation, or rather than modifying we have to rearrange the equation to find the desired value.
Once we figure out the equation, solving the problem is halfway done. Then we just have to substitute the values in the variable and solve the equation algebraically.
Weightage of Physics problems in exams
We now have learned why physics problems are important. But still, many students prefer to skip the problems. They think that solving theory questions can gain them more marks and it will take less time. But if you can go for the theory, that means you have an understanding of the theory. So you only practice a bit for solving the problems easily. This is because the problems do carry a lot of weightage. Of course, the weighting is different for different standards but they can help you gain marks. If you solve a problem correctly with all steps and your results are rights, there is no chance of losing marks.
The weightage of problems goes on increasing as per standards. This is because it is said that the one who can solve physics problems has a perfect understanding of the topics. Which is also true to some extent.
Physics problems for beginners
Beginners face a lot of problems while solving the problem on their own. Solving a direct numerical is not that difficult, but yes only if you have a basic understanding of the theory. If you don’t even have a strong basic knowledge of physics, it’s not easy to solve any numerical. If you are a beginner I will suggest you solve the direct problems by using guides, and available solutions. You need to solve as many problems as you can so that you can understand the rearrangement done to get the desired value.
Later you can try solving the numerical yourself. But you need to keep practicing on a daily basis.
How to approach physics problems
Now that we know exactly how physics numerical and problems are, let’s find a way to approach them. Physics is the subject of many sub-branches like electrodynamics, mechanical, classical, optics, etc. We first categorize any problem we come across into the branch of physics. Like if there are any problems based on cross-products and dot products they can be classified as electrodynamics problems for the time being, similarly if come across the terms like at the rays, the light coming from, etc, this can be classified as optics problem and so on.
Once we get to know from which branch the problem is from, it is easy to find the appropriate equation to solve the problems. This is because as we all know; equations from the optics branch are different from the equations in any other branch. Hence while approaching a physics problem, we need to first categorize it into the branch of physics.
After branching the problem, we need to read it correctly. We need to note the variables that are mentioned in the problem. From the variables, we can exactly figure out the equation to be used to solve the problem. Again there are many common variables that are repeatedly used in the different equations. Hence we have to be very careful while choosing an equation.
How to solve physics problems easily
Now you must be thinking about how you can solve the physics problem easily? There is only one solution to this question. You need to be good with your theory. Because if you are not good with your theory you will not understand the problem. You need to understand the formulas, the equation and then you should be able to implement them in the problem. You need to have a good understanding of the variables. Unless you are not thorough with the variables you cannot solve any physics problem easily.
How to solve physics problems faster
The most common answer to the question, how to solve any problem faster is that you need to practice. Yes, to solve any problems, not just physics but any problems, you need to practice at least for one hour on a daily basis. Yes, you have to train your brain in such a way that while reading the problem itself, your brain should start branching it into the branch of physics, and you should easily note down the equations that are needed to be solved. There is no shortcut for this process, or for the practice that needs to be done.
Physics problems tips & tricks
Most of the students always forget the units. Units are a very essential part of problems. The first and most important note you need to make is to check if all the values are having the same system of units. The conversion of units should be done carefully.
The next thing we need to take care of while solving a problem is the powers of tens, 10^2 here 2 is the power. Many times we come across problems where we can easily first solve the powers for example if the value is 7×10^2 + 4×10^-3 then when we can directly do 7+4×10^-1, that is our answer will be 1.1 units. Although this was a very easy example, this was just to explain the concept to you. So here you see we solved the power first. You can solve all the powers first in the problem and then adjust the decimal.
This is because as you simplify the powers your problem starts looking simple. You don’t get jumbled in the problem.
Physics problems for class 10
A physics problem for the tenth class is always straight forward. The tenth standard physics syllabus doesn’t even have that big of an equation. The formulas used for the tenth standard are easy too. The values for the variables are also given in most of the questions. If the question is descriptive, then you need to draw a diagram.
Most of the electricity problems consist of circuits and you need to draw the circuits. For drawing an electric circuit you need to read the question properly. You need to note which components are used. You also need to be careful with the resistor, are they connected parallel or in series in the circuit.
Once you get a proper diagram you can easily solve such problems.
Physics problems for class 12
Physics problems for class 12th are a bit twisted but not always. Unless you are trying to go for any competitive exams like JEE, or NEET. Of course we will cover how to solve the JEE and NEET problems in different articles. But yes, coming to 12th standard problems, the questions are not so straight forward. You have to be good with your theory. For the 12th standard you need to draw the diagrams for electrostatics questions also.
Here is a video to help you solve the questions
Physics problems for competitive exams
When we talk about the numerical or physics problems that are asked in competitive exams, often such exams are multiple-choice answer type exams. Here we already have answers given in the choices, but the questions are also twisted.
Here we have to use a trick. We have to figure out the equations, rather than solving it, we can just substitute back the values from all the given options. This is called the elimination method. You keep eliminating the option which does not give to the final value.
Some MCQ problems don’t even need to recollect equations, especially the circuit equations.
For example, consider the below-given problem
An Op-amp’s output is given to LED, and the voltage divider has the same values of resistances. The question asked is, when will the LED glow and hence we need to find the value of V1.
Here if you know the basic working of an Op-amp, it is very easy to get an answer within seconds.
The negative terminals give a negative output, and positive terminals give a positive output. Look at the options.there are two values, 6 and 12. It is very obvious that the value of the resistor is equal hence, the voltage will be mid-value, at the negative terminal, that is -6. Now the led is forward biased hence, it needs positive voltage, to glow. Hence, the Vi value should be more than 6 v. Hence the answer is option B.
We didn’t even need to remember any equations. Hence with having theory clear and some logic you can solve such MCQ very fast and easy
I hope that this article has shown you the importance of physics numerical. I also hope that this article will help you in solving your physics problem. I gave you the maximum possible ways to figure out and solve your physics problem as quickly as possible. But as it is well said, practice makes a man perfect. So you need to sit and study at least two hours a day and at least a half-hour just for solving the problems. If you are not good physics then first try solving the mathematical problems, this will help you to develop the logic you need to solve the problem. Once you develop the logic you need to apply it to physics problems.
If you have any query feel free to share with us.